Happy New Year Everyone!!!
We are back in Burundi after a fantastic month of rest away. It was a time of refreshment, relaxation, and rejuvenation for us both!
We are now back in the full swing of things and are busy wrapping up our time in Burundi…
Josh has moved out of our home in Gitega and has been living in Bujumbura, the capital city, while training with LifeNet International! He has also been helping with a few last minute details for Shammah Health Center as well as training for the upcoming 3rd annual Tour du Burundi starting next week! He is a very busy man!
I, on the other hand, have been living in Gitega and working at Shammah Health Center this past month. It has been a very busy and wonderful time preparing the team for our departure, getting last minute tasks sorted, and spending time with the staff. They are still very sad that we are leaving and this is a hard thing for them to grasp…they said they want us to stay forever…however, they are doing a phenomenal job at the clinic and have been running the health center beautifully! More than our leadership or assistance at the clinic, I know it is our special bond and friendship with our team that we will all miss the most.
I have been spending my time observing our staff, completing some medical teaching with them, mentoring, giving tips, and helping with last minute details. I have been trying to stand back as much as possible and help facilitate if needed. I have been more than impressed with what I have seen! The standard of care that our staff are demonstrating is far beyond what I have seen in this country. The fact that Shammah Health Center has been open for less than one year, and it has already been passed off to local leadership is outstanding! That shows how wonderful our team here is!
I have been trying hard to encourage the team as best I can. They say that they still need me…but I reminded them of how hands-off I have been and for them to look back and realize that for the most part, they have been running Shammah Health Center for the past couple of months without me, and how successful they have been.
In my last blog, I told you about a lovely young lady named Jacqueline, who we thought would need surgery to save her foot…however, with regular intensive dressing changes at Shammah Health Center, her wound is almost healed completely and she will not need any surgery!
I reminded our staff that against all odds, Jacqueline is almost healed…and I never touched her once…It was all them! Praise God!
We have a new patient who was at a clinic a couple of weeks ago and they injected medication into his finger instead of a large muscle…this horrific practice has led to such a massive infection in his hand, that the bone on his finger is exposed. He went to other health centres for treatment, but his hand kept getting worse. So he came to Shammah Health Center. With intensive antibiotic therapy and wound care, he is slowly starting to heal.
Shammah Health Center has become well-known for being a place that offers excellent wound care!
We have also received some wonderful new equipment and special wound care supplies from Canada. We were able to make a large purchase and our lovely mom’s worked together to pack the bags for us and send them out to Burundi!
The malnutrition program is continuing to expand and even more land is being cleared for planting! Many new fruits and vegetables are growing, being used by the mama’s at the orphanage, and we are hoping that this can expand into the community soon!
We are also happy to welcome 4 new beautiful children at Homes of Hope this Christmas!
I have been travelling to Bujumbura every weekend to see my husband and we have been spending time with our beloved friends and church in Burundi…we have felt very encouraged and supported by our loved ones here and will miss them dearly. Without them, we don’t know if we could have made it through these last 2 years. They mean so much to us!
Please pray for us through this difficult transition. We will keep you posted on how things are going in the coming weeks.
Please pray for Josh as he prepares for the bike tour next week. He will be blogging about the tour throughout the week.
Please continue to pray for Shammah Health Center and the staff during this transition as well. Please pray for continued encouragement and increasing confidence for the staff over the coming months.
If you are interested in financially supporting Shammah Health Center, it’s not too late to donate!
Blessings to you all,
P.S. Enjoy some of the pictures we took during our trip to Ethiopia & South Africa!